Please feel free to share any stories and memories of Dr. Marvin and Mrs. Bonnie Stone
Shared this with the alumni on Facebook as one of my most memorable moments with Dr. Stone as an undergrad, but thought I would share it here as well with his family. Erica Gaddis and I were having trouble with homework in Dr. Stone’s instruments and controls course, so we went to his office hours to get help. Erica took a seat in his chair and I on the floor as he stood at his dry erase board to explain. Then comes a knock at the door; it was another classmate. Before we knew it, there were 6 to 7 of us crowded in his tiny office. Some sat on his desk and others on the floor. That is when he realized that he must have not explained the concept well, but really in boiled down to us getting tutored in differential equations as that was where most of us was having trouble. With so many gathered in his office, he decided to gather us all up and took us to Ag Hall 208. There other classmates joined us, and for the next couple of hours Dr. Stone went through the concepts one by one until every student had an understanding on what to do.
Marv was not only one of my advisors, but certainly the best teacher I
have ever had. I have had other good, even great, teachers over the
years, but it is not even close – Marv was head and shoulders above the
rest. One time after leaving OSU, I called Marv to get help
understanding a work-related problem we were having. Not only was he
able to put a very complex issue into plain words (his superpower), he
was able to do it so well, that when I relayed the information to my
co-workers, they said “If he can explain that so well to you that you
can turn around and explain it to us (and we understand it), we need to
get him here to teach us all more.” …and sure enough, he came to our
work and taught us all…a LOT.
Bonnie was such a wonderful soul.
Even though Marv was such a huge influence on me, I will miss Bonnie
every bit as much as Marv. She loved OSU with a passion. We would
often chat, either during the few times I was able to see them after
leaving Stillwater, or sometimes via email or Facebook, about her work
challenges. While she would grouse a bit about some technology issue,
it was never about being bitter, but out of a desire to provide the best
possible services for “her kids” – ALL Oklahoma State University
students. Last time I talked to her, she was planning to retire, but
not until the system was all set up and ready to go. She was as
quick-witted and funny as anyone I have ever met. She and Marv welcomed
my wife and me into their home during one of my few return trips to
Stillwater, proudly showing off some items that Marv was working on.
So, that is a little bit about them, but it falls SO short of
explaining their impact on people: the thousands of OSU students whose
enrollment in the university was better because of something Bonnie did
behind the scenes probably are not even aware of what they have lost;
the hundreds, if not thousands, of students who were taught by Marv, the
smartest person I have ever met, with a knack for putting it into words
anyone can understand…so good, in fact, that he was named the
outstanding faculty IN ANOTHER DEPARTMENT.
Again, I feel that
these words still fall short of explaining how great of a loss this is,
not only for OSU and our Biosystems Engineering family, but for the
world. I am seeing stories from my OSU family about traveling to
foreign countries with Marv, and whole groups of students sitting in his
office getting help. I know so many people who respected and loved
them both. It may be small consolation to their actual family, but if
the measure of a person is by the lives they impacted, Marv and Bonnie
were beyond measure.
Sorry for the weird formatting below – pasted from Facebook.
Fixed it for you.
For me, Dr. Stone and Bonnie are best exemplified by an experience we had yearly just before our trip to Moline for the quarter scale tractor competition. Each year, Dr. Stone would spend countless hours helping us to sort out controls and logic on the project. We didn’t make things easy, at least we didn’t think we did. I’m almost sure Dr. Stone had it all sorted out before we even explained problems we were having, and always helped us understand not only the solution, but how to think-through the problem and arrive at the solution (often a rare superpower, to use Travis’ words).
That alone was generous.
A few days before the competition, while we struggled late into the night finalizing details and assembly, he and Bonnie would show up with a meal that always hit the spot. As you can imagine, with 10-15 college students working at the shop (a good portion of which were healthy-sized farm boys with appetites to match) this was no small feat. And of course, they always helped keep our budget on track, always donating generously to allow us to continue on.
That, by itself, was amazing.
Then, the morning we left for Moline, Dr. Stone and Bonnie always met us in the morning to see us off, and send us along with a whole mess of homemade sausages-in-a-blanket and warm wishes.
That, by itself, was awesome.
But any of those by themselves were not Dr. Stone and Bonnie. It all was them. Thank you, Stone family, for sharing them with us. We truly are honored by their acquaintance, and blessed by their memories!
I have spent a lot of time the last couple days reminiscing about my college days. I got my BS and MS from the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department at Oklahoma State University. I was not an “ag” person at all. I ended up in the department because I had friends who were students there, and they told me over and over what a great department it was. As soon as I transferred in, I knew exactly what they were talking about. It was like coming home to a family. This weekend we lost one of our family members when he and his wife were killed at the Homecoming parade. As soon as the names of the victims were released, I started getting Facebook messages. Some alumni started a group message to make sure that everyone was informed, and as I saw the names of students, faculty, staff, and spouses popping up whom I haven’t seen in 10 years so many happy memories flooded my mind. I was truly blessed to be part of such a unique department. Dr. Stone and his wife Bonnie really contributed to that family-like atmosphere. Not only was he a crazy smart researcher, but he was an amazing teacher (two things that don’t always go together). I know that I personally took a class or two, not because I was overly interested in the material, but just because I wanted to be in Dr. Stone’s class. He was such a favorite with the students that the student club had to put a limit on how often someone could win the professor of the year award, because it kept going to him. He went above and beyond in the time he invested in his students. I can remember stopping by our lab building to visit our friends who were working late into the night on the ¼ scale tractor and so often Dr. Stone was there answering their questions. We all knew Bonnie so well because she cared about us as much as he did. She always made a point of coming to our student activities to cheer us on or to just chat and build relationships with the students. I am so thankful that I knew these two wonderful people. My heart is also so full from seeing how the department has come together to mourn our loss.
Marv and I started at Oklahoma State University only one day apart. From the beginning, he impressed me as a brilliant researcher, creative, collaborative and one of the best teachers I have ever met. We worked together on the Green Seeker project. There are no words to express the friendship I had with Marv. He made me laugh, and pushed me to do better. He was a dear friend and I am lucky to have known him and worked with him for so many years. He visited me this past summer here in Nebraska where we discussed our usual topics; it is a visit I will always remember and cherish.
Bonnie will be sorely missed, I will miss teasing her about her ranch just across the border in Colorado. She had a great sense of humor and was a good friend. My family and I will miss the Stones very much.
Hope you are doing well, John. I was glad to see your post – thought of you and Marvin working together so much. Take Care, Scott
In my first year as a faculty member and when I was single, I agreed to host a faculty candidate reception at my townhouse. The problem with this was that I was not very good at preparing desserts and other foods that you would have at such a reception. I was worried about how to get the food put together the day before the reception when I was at the BAE lunch table. Bonnie Stone heard me discussing my dilemma with my colleagues and immediately offered to help. I thought she would bring one thing or something, but she ended up bringing several delicious desserts and the reception went very well. Then after it was over she told me that she would help me anytime I wanted to host a reception again. Bonnie was such a wonderful person.
After i got married and had two kids, I would see the Stones from time to time in town with my kids. They always stopped and talked with my kids with big smiles on their faces. They didn’t have their own kids, but they loved other people’s kids very much. I have seen other people post similar remembrances in terms of their kids as well. Also, I hope one of my colleagues who were at OSU at the time will post about the “sabbatical in Hawaii” that Marv created for one of his faculty colleagues. Marv was known for his sense of humor and it will be missed.
Since 2007, Marv has been working with Capstan to develop
PinPoint, which is a sprayer control system using GPS to make nozzles do crazy
things. Early on, we rigged up an apparatus that simulated a full sized
sprayer but could be hauled in the back of a pickup. The thing had a
bunch of blinking lights and wires and a squirting nozzle that left water
tracks on the road so we could test GPS accuracy. My pickup only had a
regular cab. Me and Marv and Kent rode around Kent’s block, the country
club parking lot complete with cars and around the country club area in
Stillwater probably a million times, zigging and zagging, forwards and
backwards, fast and slow, with one of us, usually Marv, hanging off the back to
watch the nozzle squirting. I remember the neighbors stopping what they
were doing to watch us go by. At some point the neighbors quit looking
and must have just accepted us as part of the neighborhood…Oh, it’s just
Marv! Afterwards, Bonnie would sometimes meet us at Bad Brad’s for BBQ
although our stories never seemed to surprise her. I think she had pretty
much seen it all before.
I’ll speak for Capstan…we’re going to miss that guy a lot…
Marv was one of my advisors, a mentor, and a friend.
Marv was a brilliant researcher, and one of the best teachers I have ever
met. His sense of humor put a smile on our face each and every day.
I remember his ugly green shoes, which he would wear just a get a rise out of
me. He knew I would give him a hard time. I remember Marv, Stewart, Kyle,
Duane and I spent many hours in the lab and our conversations were always very
lively. We talked about politics, religion, and our relationships.
When a tsunami devastated Sri Lanka, Marv’s
mom made and organized many in the town to send quilts to
Sri Lanka, this is just one example of the generosity of the Stone
Marv and Bonnie showed us the true meaning of servant
leadership. He went to field with us, he spent many hours in the lab with
us. Marv and Bonnie lived their life by example. Their love for
each other showed us true meaning of unconditional love. Marv showed us
what team work and true friendship is. Marv and John Solie were a great
team and best of friends. Because of their example I made lifelong
friendships. I am truly grateful for that. Even though Marv and
Bonnie didn’t have kids, they adopted us all. When my two boys were born
Bonnie made beautiful blankets for them. I will cherish them for a life time.
Finally, if you are ever in a bind think WWMD (What Would Marv Do). I feel these
words still will not adequately show my gratitude for them. Thank you,
Marv and Bonnie’s family for sharing them with us. We miss and love them
both very so much.
I first met Marv when we were both involved in CEAT Faculty Council, many years ago. I was always so grateful for his calm, practical approach to any problem that arose. And then over the years, I would see him now and again, and was happy for every encounter.
He always had a smile and an encouraging word for me. I was aware, of course, of his many achievements as a professor, but what I learned most from him was in how he dealt with people, so positive, so down-to-earth, and so generous with his wisdom.
During that same period, I had numerous interactions with Bonnie in the registrar’s office, and I was always glad when I got her on the
phone; I knew she would help and that we would no doubt share a chuckle or two before the call was over. I hadn’t initially realized
she and Marv were married, but when I figured out that they were a couple, it of course made perfect sense; they were a perfectly matched pair of mensches.
Marv and Bonnie made the world a better place, both through their work and through the many lives they touched. Their kindness, great humor, and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
I am the newest member to IRIM. From day one, Bonnie treated me as though I was part of the family and had always been there. She was always doing something, but you would not have known by the way she helped you at a moments notice. Almost as if she was just waiting for you to show up in her office with whatever problem you were having at the time. It didn’t matter who you were, if you called or came to her office, you were the most important concern on the campus.
I would run into Bonnie and Marv in the kitchen fixing lunch almost every day. I would be there to heat up my spaghetti-o’s, all the while wishing could trade with what they were making. I would ask questions about where they got certain produce, because it always looked like they went out the their own personal farm and took out the most ripe vegetables.
Marv was here so often that I actually had no idea that he was retired until hearing about it Sunday morning on the news. He was just always around. I would see him after work even, putting Bonnie’s bicycle in the back of the truck and coming inside to pick her up. You never saw them without smiles. But I always thought of Marv as “Mr. Sunshine” because he could brighten your day with that smile.
It was a blessing to know them, and I will carry their memories in my heart forever.
At one of my college times lowest lows, Dr Stone believed in me; Mrs Stone such a sweetheart, she always filled a room with happiness. Together, their positivity was smothering in a super, great way. -Kristina Walters(Marana, AZ) 1998 BS grad,
Bonnie Stone was always so patient and courteous with me when I made my semesterly call to have her reset my password for the 3270 system. I was humbled and embarrassed each time but she was kind and understanding. We need more people like her in this world not less. She taught me to provide mercy and understanding no matter the situation. My deepest condolences to the family. Prayerfully, David W. Davis
Dr. Stone and his wife Bonnie are two of the most amazing people
I have ever met. Dr. Stone is one of the most highly decorated professors in
the field of engineering but he was also the most humble. I have never seen a
professor that could teach incoming freshman (BAE 1012) and help them with the transition from high
school to college so well. And then the next hour teach one of the most
advanced graduate level courses. He was a diverse professor that could make the
most difficult engineering concepts seem simple. He could relate to freshman
and graduate students alike. He knew engineering theory and was practical as
well. Bonnie was just as humble as Marvin and she was always so happy and
cheerful. Dr. Stone taught my first ever BAE class. As a transfer student into the
engineering program I was scared to death! Dr. Stone made my transfer into
engineering go very smoothly and I owe a lot of my engineering career today to
him for his guidance. Dr. Stone made me a better engineer and his attitude is a
great example of how an engineer should be in their career. I feel so fortunate to have known Marvin and Bonnie
and they will be missed.
Marvin started in the OSU BAE Department one year after I did, and I treasure my time with him and Bonnie. I had the great privilege of sharing a few thoughts at the Wednesday night vigil on campus. I tend to be a little wordy in both writing and speaking. Marv, on the other hand, would prefer that folks keep it short and to the point. So here goes …….. my attempt to describe Marvin Stone in 6 words …… “He cared. He served. He delivered.”
I first came to US, to the BAE of OSU, I was staying in the lab all the time
and was too shy to talk to others, because I felt people sometimes lost
interest and patience when I barely finished my sentence in English. Dr. Stone
would never show any impatience when talking to our international students. Instead,
he would usually stop and talk to everyone, not just said hello, but actually
talked to us. He gave us lots of valuable suggestions on the classes we were
taking, the research we were working on and our career. I just could not use great English to express everything I think of, but I will always remember him.
Marv and Bonnie, Bonnie and Marv, a wonderful dynamic duo! I had the privilege and I mean privilege of knowing them for almost fifteen years. I admired them for many reasons but two of the reasons stand out most in my mind. There dedication to students and their dedication to one another. My job in the BAE department is focused on undergrads and many of my conversations with Marv and Bonnie focused on students. Their excitement about the annual scholarship banquet and the opportunity to meet and enjoy fellowship with the recipient of the Stone Scholarship was something that literally made their eyes sparkle! The other is of course their love and dedication to one another. They truly modeled what marriage should be. The world would be a better place if there were more people like them. An amazing couple.
I didn’t work directly with Marvin Stone, but interacted with him as a DASNR colleague. He was a friendly and genuine individual and always humble. Bonnie Stone was the definition of a helpful OSU staff member. She is largely responsible for how well the University community adapted to SIS when it was introduced. She always found a practical solution to my SIS-related problems, while remaining warm and understanding. I shall miss them both.
Like the rest of the Cowboy family, my heart sank when I saw the tragic news about
Marvin and Bonnie Stone. Marvin was one of my favorite professors and most influential on my career in hydrology and hydraulics. Even though it was not his specialty, he taught me Intermediate Fluids. This was the first course where my interest in water ( I built dams in puddles)
intersected with course work. Marvin was an outstanding teacher and I loved the course. Some thirty years later, that text book is still in my office. I will remember Marvin each time I use it.
Marvin also taught me Instruments and Controls. This course combined Laplace transforms and apparently electrical stuff. I always said I was glad I parted my hair in the middle because everything Marvin said went right over my head! Still, Marvin got this water guy through. That was Marvin’s way. He was always in your corner and he never turned a student away no matter his schedule.
As good a professor as he was, he was an even better person. I never saw him get mad or even say a mean word. He was brilliant, yet incredibly humble. He was kind and sweet and was a good friend to all. I can still hear his gentle voice saying farewell as he often did, “Take er easy.”
Bonnie was the same – sweet and so good to the students. She was kind of a motherly figure to Marvin’s students and their love for each other was a quiet witness of devotion. Their
kindness was so welcoming to young students away from home and familiar surroundings. With Marvin and Bonnie, making a new student a part of their family and the Cowboy family, was their
mission which they faithful served for decades. They were a tremendous blessing to me and so many others. We love you, Marvin and Bonnie!
Scott Henderson AgEn 1985
In an email to Ning, Ron Elliott said: “As Marvin and I were leaving breakfast last Wednesday morning, the last words he spoke with
me were about a support letter that he was working on for an ASABE award, and I think he said that it was the NERCITA director being nominated. Do you know anything about this?”
Ron is right. Two week ago, I sent emails to several individuals about support letters for nomination of Dr. Chunjiang Zhao, the Director of NERCITA, for the ASABE Gunlogson countryside engineering award. I knew we started this too late, which left
everybody with very little time and I apologized for the late request. Marvin was the first to reply. While most other people
expressed their concerns about the short notice, he said in his email:
I will be glad to write a letter of support and can make the time deadline.
And this was the last words I heard from him! I feel so sad when writing Elliott back. I was actually having tears in my eyes.
I want to share another email Marvin wrote me about Professor Maohua Wang, Ning’s father:
I hope this note finds you well!
I must congratulate you on Joe Dvorak’s success in becoming a faculty member at U Kentucky. It does reflect well on your program and I know you have been an important mentor in developing Joe to become a faculty member. Way to go!
Ning had mentioned that her father was going to have an important birthday, and I asked her for information so I might write a letter. She talked me into visiting China again instead. I am looking forward to that opportunity and hope there will be some fruitful opportunities.
One issue is a big challenge for me and I was wondering if you might have some suggestions. I think it may be appropriate to give a gift to Maohua to recognize the occasion and of course to recognize the mutual opportunities he has stimulated. The challenge is to identify an appropriate gift. My Chinese cultural background is — non-existent –.
I have thought a little about what would please me when I am 85 from a colleague. I cannot imagine lasting that long! In addition I cannot hope to think like Maohua. If you have a suggestion, guidance, or an idea, please let me know. It is important of course not to embarrass him yet a gift that will please him would surely give us both some pleasure.
Again, I hope all is well for you. As always if I may be useful to you, let me know.
I was moved by his sincerity and started thinking about different options for his gift. I ended up with suggesting an orange sweater
with OSU’s logo on it. I wrote him:
“Hi Dr. Stone:
I am glad that we will meet in China again! I still have a nice memory of our last Beijing adventure together.
Yes, Joe is doing well. It is mainly the education he received at OSU that helped him move in the right direction for his career. I must thank you for this.
It has always been a difficult task for me to choose appropriate gifts whenever I visit my colleagues in China. I often struggled too. May I suggest that you bring an OSU sweater to Professor Wang as the birthday gift? It is the right season to wear and, he will proudly wear it very often in his daughter’s honor. It will be considered a valuable gift.
Although a medium size seems to fit his height well, I would still recommend a large size mainly because of his visible “belly”.
I hope this will help.
Apparently he thought it over and finally presented Professor Wang with an engineering drawing tool set. It was the set he used when he was an engineering student! It was between two engineers of the old generation, and I bet many of our students now do not even know what that was anymore!
Speaking of sweater, I remember Ning and I running into Marv and Bonnie in Gallagher-Iba Arena several times. It has become our tradition that I wore purple when OSU played with KSU and orange when with other schools. Bonnie was always laughing brightly when she saw me wearing purple! One time our seats were very close to each other, and Bonnie fully utilized this
opportunity to demonstrate her biased love to OSU! She was lovely.
I was in Stillwater & BAE from 1990 to late 1997. Very quickly I became friends with Bonnie and Marv. Marv and I shared an interest in old British cars. I had the privilege of riding in his bugeye sprite. I attended homecoming, visited the Department, and had dinner with Ron Elliot on Friday night. Ron told us that Marv was enjoying retirement and the consulting. Life was good. Then on Sunday driving home to Wisconsin I found out about Bonnie and Marv on a media posting. Like Ron I couldn’t believe it and I read the article multiple times hoping it would change. It was a long trip home.
There have been so many wonderful observations about Bonnie and Marv, and they are all deserved. In our lifetime, if we are blessed and fortunate we get to know people with the truth of character and compassion that Marv and Bonnie had. I was blessed to have had them as friends and they will be missed.
Dr. Stone and Bonnie were such warm and genuine people. When I was a research engineer in the department, I used to love hearing the tales of practical jokes played on other faculty members, the “sabbatical in Hawaii” being one of my favorites. He was always willing to answer questions and help me work out things related to my research. He used to say “well….I don’t really know very much about that, but here’s what I do know….” and then he would proceed to explain whatever it was in terms I could understand and apply to my research, even though I was a water and soils person. Bonnie was just amazing. She took me to a few basketball games with her over the years, and it was so fun to be there with her. She knew about all of the players, and she would get so excited, it was infectious. They were some of my favorite times at OSU.
I found today the following article from 1991 in the Tulsa World about Marv’s “Watermelon Thumper”.
I was given the gift and privilege of working closely with Bonnie for the last few years and in developing a friendship with her and Marvin through some daily conversations around the office at lunch. They were exemplary and precious people who seemed to “see” and appreciate deeply those in their lives. They gave so much to others with their time, attention and resources. They always had time to ask about my daughters and show interest in their activities at school. They truly were a gift to me while they were physically here and I sincerely pray that I am able to honor their memory by striving to better see and appreciate the people who cross my path each day.
I will especially miss joking around with both of them and Marvin’s cat ringtone that always caught me off guard.
The loss of Marv and Bonnie was a shock to everyone. For me, trying to think of a specific story or memory is something that I have been thinking about a lot over the last 10 days or so. That has brought both fond memories and sadness and a struggle to pinpoint something specific that hasn’t already been voiced. To me, Marv was one of the best example of a teacher that I ever had the experience of having. Whether talking to a classroom full of students about Laplace transforms or talking to a farmer about what they hoped to do with a new piece of technology to help him, he always seemed at ease and got his point across. I wasn’t around Bonnie as much as some of the students were, so I can’t say a lot on that facet. Except, I feel she and Marv showed an excellent example of how well a couple could be together for decades and still seemed to have the fun, love, and respect for each other not often seen these days. They were both wonderful people whose passing will leave a hole in the department and the university that will never be filled in the same way.
I had the privilege of working with Marvin on SAE and ISO standards committees. He brought great knowledge but more than that he brought humanity and great negotiating skills to help us arrive at best solutions. He always treated people with respect and gentleness. These many meetings gave me the opportunity to travel and share meals with Marvin, always a treat. It also gave me the opportunity to meet Bonnie a couple times. What a dynamic duo!
Last week I was at the ASABE Board of Trustees meeting and of course we talked about Marvin and his contributions.
As I thought about it more, I realized why I felt a strong connection to him. When I first started in ASAE as a new assistant professor, there was no “Young Professionals Community” nor sessions on how to make the most of the meetings, there were few networking opportunities, etc, like there are now. The only real social event was the reception, and it felt very intimidating to me at my first meeting in December 1988 in Chicago. The older people all seemed to know each other. All I knew were our department’s faculty and most of the time I didn’t see them anywhere. I don’t recall at all which technical committee it was, but I ventured into one where Marvin was present. I didn’t know anyone. He quickly made me feel welcome, and in those early years he continued to be friendly to me. You know, I thought he was so much older because he seemed wizened and experienced. Yet, when I read his obituary information, I realize now that he was only eight years older than me. I just thought I’d share that anecdote.
Professor and Head
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Dr. Marvin Stone and Mrs.Bonnie Stone
I was in BAE between 1997 and 2001 as a graduate student. I
came to know him from his graduate students and one of them was in my own
cubicle. He used to come, sit and discuss with them and then he would extend
his greetings to other students in the room. As the departmental faculty person
for the computing resources at that time, both he and my graduate advisor, Dr.
Elliott worked very hard to get what I needed to do my research. In one of
those meetings with him to explain what I wanted to do the simulation (at that
time just the digital age was just picking up), he was providing practical ideas
to get the Linux systems working to meet my requirements. I value them a lot. A
friendly, always smiling and helpful person he was. I have met Bonnie with him
in several departmental gathering and events. She was very gentle and kind. I
tend to think that both were the extraordinary pair made in heaven. I am so saddened at their untimely death. For
both Dr. Marvin Stone and Bonnie Stone, getting along with all people was not
only easy but had been their forte!
I was privileged to call Marvin Stone a friend and colleague since the mid-80’s. You would think that someone as brilliant, talented and productive as Marv would inspire jealousy and resentment in at least on person he encountered, but I can’t recall anyone ever regarding Marv with anything but respect, admiration and affection. He was such a humble and down-to-earth guy you couldn’t help but love him. Ask him a question an almost any subject and he would begin by saying, “Well, I really don’t know very much about that . . . .”, and then within 30 seconds he would just blow you away with the depth and breadth of his knowledge on the matter.
And he had a wicked sense of humor. I recall the hoax about a sabbatical opportunity that he perpetrated on his good friend Willard Downs back in the late 80’s. Willard was distressed about departmental politics and told Marv if he could find a good sabbatical opportunity he would be gone for a year in the blink of an eye. Willard hated cold weather, loved to fly and had done his doctoral research on automated feeding of poultry. So at Marv’s ficticious Pan-Pacific Agricultural Research Institute in Hilo, Hawaii the successful candidate would have to fly the institute’s private aircraft between several research installations all over Hawaii as he tended research projects in the automated feeding of catfish. When Willard first saw the advertisement Marv created, he rushed into Marv’s office and said, “Look at this ad. It’s like this job description was written just for me!” Imagine that! With the help of a friend in Hawaii he strung Willard along with correspondence for several weeks before he finally caught on. And he did it in such a way that Willard could only shake his head and smile when he figured out he’d been had.
I don’t know how many times Bonnie saved my bacon when it came to getting grades submitted electronically. No matter how often I messed something up or forgot my password, she would straighten me out and yet manage to avoid telling me I was an idiot. And with her passing, the King of England’s academic career at OSU is over. At least once I had the privilege of having Richard Plantagenet enroll in my class only to drop it the next day. Bonnie had style. She wouldn’t test whether the SIS add/drop system was working properly by enrolling John Doe in a class– she would enroll Richard the Lionhearted!
The loss of Marv and Bonnie is a huge blow, and we are all the poorer because of it. But they led their lives in such a way that we can look back with a smile and just be thankful that our paths crossed theirs.
I feel honored to have know Marvin. I remember when I interviewed at OSU in 1982. Everyone was very excited that they were getting this excellent new faculty member. They were correct in their assessment. Marvin turned out to be one of the very top agricultural engineers in academia. I remember a former fellow graduate student of Marvin’s saying that he was the smartest person he ever met. My experiences with Marvin tend to confirm that statement. And Marvin achieved real practical advances that are doing a lot to allow the world to feed itself in a more-sustainable manner. He made truly significant contributions, particularly in controller networking and sensing.
But the thing that impressed me most about him was that Marvin did not brag about his achievements. He was humble and kind. He was fun to talk to. Our profession is going to greatly miss him.
Unfortunately, I did not know Bonnie. But knowing Marvin’s great judgement, I know he would have only married someone who was also great.
Unfortunately, I had not even nearly enough interaction with Marvin. I wish I could have picked his brain more often, and I truly hoped to show him around Switzerland one of these days when he’d go to a committee meeting in Germany.
He was my instructor in two grad courses that he taught to a handful of us nerds after he had already officially retired from school. Besides him obviously really knowing his stuff, he always gave himself as “one of us”. Lecture hours were long over and he would still sit there with you, discuss all ifs and buts, and encourage you to explore and discover beyond the plain exercise. His ability to look at material from a student’s perspective made him one of the best instructors I have ever had.
During the time I was buried in the lab messing with my research planter, he’d swing by every so often and poke me with questions that
unavoidably led to “dang… didn’t think about that…”.
My best experience at OSU was the awesome collaboration between the Ag Science guys and the Ag Engineering guys. I know that Marvin was one of the key players in that arrangement and that he’ll be dearly missed.
I was in OSU (Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering) at 2013-2014 for sabbatical leave. I met Professor Marvin Stone and talked with him about my project. I found him as a gentleman. I was deeply saddened and would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to his families.
Hossein Navid, Ph.D.
Department of Biosystems Engineering
University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
Marvin’s office was just a few doors down from mine, and while I never worked directly with him, his soft tone, gentle spirit and genuine smile just made your day better. I did not know Bonnie as well but we sat just a few rows from them at the Basketball games. Their love for OSU Basketball would be an understatement. If our paths crossed the next day, Marvin and I would talk a little about the game and how the Cowboys had played. Marvin and Bonnie, Bonnie and Marvin…I have heard this said or written so many times lately. As true as it was on this earth, it is still true in heaven with our precious Lord Jesus. May the families of both be comforted by this.
Pat J. Bridger
Support Staff in the BAE Dept.
Thank you to everybody for sharing your wonderful memories of Marvin and Bonnie. Memories are all we have, so please keep them in your hearts. Bonnie and Marvin are my aunt and Uncle and we miss them dearly. Godspeed.
I met Dr. Stone when I went to OSU for my M.S. degree (2003-2005). He’s one of the BAE faculty members I really admired for being very nice and one of the best on what he was doing professionally. He would always greet you with his soft-toned voice and a smile whenever you happened to meet him in the department’s hallways. May he and Mrs. Bonnie Stone rest in peace. May their loved ones also find peace.
Argonne National Laboratory
Biosystems Engineering at Oklahoma State University